RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - Now that Democrat Mel Watt has a new gig leading the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the state is moving forward with a special election to replace the former congressman, who resigned his 12th District seat on Monday. The primary will be held on May 6 -- the date for North Carolina's other primaries, according to Gov. Pat McCrory, who has the authority to make the decision on a date.
Should a runoff be needed, it will be held July 15. The election to fill the seat will be held November 4, the general election date for all of North Carolina.
A statement from the governor's office said abiding by the existing election dates is the most efficient way to handle filling Watt's seat. The factors considered included filing deadlines, ballot preparation time, state and federal calendar requirements for ballot access, voter registration deadlines and possible voter confusion.
Cost was also a factor. A stand-alone primary, runoff primary and general election would cost taxpayers in excess of $1 million, according to the State Board of Elections.
Six counties have voters in the 12th Congressional District. They are Cabarrus, Davidson, Forsyth, Guilford, Mecklenburg and Rowan.
District 12 is considered a safe seat for Democrats, which means the winner of the Democratic primary is likely to win the general election.